News / Asia

Cebu Island Struggles to Recover From Typhoon's Direct Hit

Aid Just Reaching Hard-Hit Philippines Islandsi
X
November 15, 2013 5:41 PM
Central Philippines island of Cebu was in direct path of Haiyan and is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
VIDEO: Central Philippines island of Cebu, which was directly in Haiyan's path, is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
In the Philippines, much of the world's attention has focused on the devastated city Tacloban where authorities have struggled to deliver aid to tens of thousands of homeless residents.

But scores of smaller towns across the country's central islands are only just being reached by aid workers a week after Typhoon Haiyan. Among them: Daanbantayan on Cebu island's northern tip, which was in the storm’s direct path.

At one aid station, fledgling attempts are made to transform frustration and confusion into organization as food, water and other necessities trickle into coastal villages directly hit by winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.
 
Francisco Oswa, his wife and their five children rode out the storm at his mother’s sturdier house next door.

“The roofs all flew off. Our neighbors’ homes collapsed. Then our house was destroyed," she explained through an interpreter. "We’re poor people, we need help here. We are out of food." 

While Cebu’s physical devastation is enormous, its remarkably low human death toll is being attributed to most people heeding the mandatory evacuation notices. But figuring out where to shelter more than 20,000 households is now the latest challenge for Dann Andrio, operations officer on assignment from the national interior department.

“What we really need is temporary shelters," he said. "A big help would be the used tarpaulins or big mats or any kind of plastic material that can sustain at least a day or so, especially because Philippines is a tropical country. We’re expecting not just summer, but also rainy season, rainy days.”
 
Under a blazing sun, children cluster by the roadside pleading hunger, and a fortunate few receive handouts. But some officials dismiss their pleas as the exploits of perennially impoverished parents seeking to capitalize on the sympathies of foreign aid workers.

But for most families in Cebu, it has long been a hand-to-mouth existence, even when not contending with the destruction wrought by one of the world’s most powerful storms.

  • A girl returns home after getting water, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A volunteer in a passing car hands out water to typhoon victims, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children wait on roadsides to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A damaged church in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children play on limbs of a fallen tree in front of their destroyed home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A home that was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A group of people, mostly seniors, waits for relief supplies in the blazing sun, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A family in front of their damaged home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Limbs from downed trees are piled up in a severely damaged village in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo: Steve Herman / VOA)
  • A view of the damage in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs